What Kind of Science is Psychoanalysis?

source: SPI — The Society for Psychoanalytic Inquiry    2014年1月9日
Throughout his life, Freud defended psychoanalysis as a science of the mind on the model of the most rigorous and advanced sciences of his day. Over a century later, however, the scientific credentials of psychoanalysis are thrown into dispute. From the outside, powerful private interests press the analytic profession to justify its theory and practice by the standards of "evidence-based medicine;" from the inside, psychoanalytic politics splinter theory apart into distinct and sometimes-rival schools. In the face of this challenge, analysts call for unity by appealing to their colleagues' latent or manifest wish to identify their profession with that of the behavioral and life sciences. Major voices propose to firmly integrate psychoanalysis and neuroscience: scientism as an antidote to sectarianism. But the standards of the natural sciences, namely verification and replicability, risk overlooking what is most distinctive and valuable about psychotherapy. How can one verify self-knowledge, or replicate autonomy? This panel brings together varied perspectives from within contemporary psychoanalysis to examine the vexed relation of psychoanalytic inquiry to the human and natural sciences.
Robert Galatzer-Levy, Irwin Z. Hoffman, Fred M. Levin and Frank Summers, Erika Schmidt (moderator)
Educational objectives: At the conclusion of the program, participants will be able to: 1) Compare different approaches to the scientific standing of psychoanalytic inquiry; 2) Describe how these different approaches play out in clinical and research methodology; and 3) Plan for future, productive developments in psychoanalytic research and clinical methodology.

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